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Foot Traffic

  • Post-race thoughts on Fort4Fitness
    The air was cool and a chill traveled up my bare legs as I took that step out the door. A pit was in my stomach, churning. I sauntered to the starting point, giving my GPS watch time to find a satellite.
  • Fort4Fitness: The race recap
    "There was a witch, in Williams-Woodland," my husband said. "Don't you remember her?" My reply was a blank stare.
  • In the bag
    I have my number - 14182. I have my shirt ... and luggage tag, magnet, pen, requisite goodies. I also have a coupon for a $1 drink at Parkview Field after the race tomorrow. Note to self:
Laura J. Gardner - The Journal Gazette
A Hibiscus blooms at the Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory garden rooms exhibit.

Details Tell the Story

Camera: NIKON D2Hs

Shutter: 1/250 s

Aperture: f/4.5

Exposure Setting: Manual (Pattern Metering)

ISO: 400

Strobe Flash: Did Not Fire

Lens Focal Length: 52 mm

White Balance: Manual

Editor's Note: Getting really close is a great way to both tell a story and create an unexpected sort of photo. Close-up photos can be a real challenge, because so little of the image will be in sharp focus. This is called limited depth-of-field, and it can be beautiful, but the photographer has to be careful to use it well. Laura has certainly done that here.

By focusing on the stamen of the flower, Laura gives the audience a really small part of the image that looks perfectly sharp. This allows the rest of the image to be a little soft and still look really great. Her composition and use of colors is also spot-on.

If you want to try shooting something like this, here are some tips:

1) Take a LOT of photos. Many that look in focus to you at the time will turn out to be not-quite-right later.

2) Experiment with the macro setting on your camera or lens, if you have one. This is usually represented by a small flower icon.

3) If you don't have a macro setting, back up and zoom in for a tight image. This will give your camera a better chance of focusing well.

4) Squeeze the shutter button instead of pushing it. This helps keep your camera very still and prevents blur from the camera's motion. (A tripod can help, if you have one.)

Great job, Laura. This image really pops.

- Lara Neel, Visual Editor